Brush Up on Water Safety

Heading out for a swim this weekend? Come on in, the water’s fine. But first, brush up on these water safety tips from the Red Cross.

Beach Safety

  • Protect your skin. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Wear a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
  • Wear foot protection. Many times, people’s feet can get burned from the sand or cut from glass in the sand.
  • Avoid rip currents. Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents, like water that’s discolored and choppy, foamy or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from shore. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore. Once you’re free of the current, swim diagonally toward shore.

Boating Safety

  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination—over 50 percent of drownings result from boating incidents involving alcohol.
  • Develop a float plan. Anytime you go out in a boat, give a responsible person details about where you will be and how long you will be gone. This is important because if you have an emergency, get lost or encounter other problems like bad weather, someone will know how to reach you.

Home Pool Safety

  • Install a phone by the pool or keep a cordless or cell phone nearby so that you can call 911 in an emergency.
  • Always keep basic lifesaving equipment by the pool and know how to use it. Pole, rope and personal flotation devices (PFDs) are recommended.

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